The Other Riverdale

Been reading Wendy Lee’s heart-wrenching coverage of events surrounding the eviction of residents from the Riverdale Mobile Home Park in Jersey Shore, PA. It’s surreal to me that this is happening in Pennsylvania, USA, and the lamestream media has basically ignored the story. Thankfully, Dr. Lee and others have recorded their impressions of the injustices there.

Whether or not you think Aqua has a right to develop this facility, and syphon 3 million gallons of fresh water per day from the Susquehanna River Watershed, what happened in Riverdale is not only emblematic of the dramatically altered nature of police enforcement in Pennsylvania, it’s also a troubling reminder that a private entity owns the public’s fresh water supplies. Above all, it calls into question who has more value in our society, corporate citizens or individual citizens? We already know who has more political clout.

Looks like there’s little to be done but accept that AquaAmerica has succeeded in furthering its plans for total water domination in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio….  Yeah, right. Read about Dr. Lee’s experiences in Riverdale in The Demolition of Riverdale: This Is Not My America in the latest issue of The Raging Chicken Press. You can find her extensive catalog of photos on Facebook.

The ever-strident observer, I’m left with the irony that Riverdale was also the name of the quintessentially happy American town in the Archie comics – a safe, colorful place where everyone prospered, equally engaged in work and play. There was no fear, no war, no threat of homelessness, no scarcity. Veronica’s material excess was lampooned, and no one ever needed a barricade to protect their homes from angry landlords and rampant corporate greed.

Here’s how Wikipedia describes Archie’s Riverdale: “While Riverdale’s location was never clearly defined, there have been many clues over the years. It has a beach (and therefore is a likely a coastal city) and receives snow in the winter. Riverdale has never faced earthquakes or hurricanes, although one plot from the 1990s involves a tornado hitting Riverdale. There does seem to be a river passing through the city because in one story, “The Roly Poly Robber,” a bridge is shown connecting two districts of the city. The city is, however, not home to any major port or dockyard. Some portions of the city are hilly.

I shared my observation with Lee, who replied, “I did not know about the Archie connection! Wow–the ironies just go on and on…Aqua has now erected a row of mailboxes in front of the chain link for the remaining residents–and behind that chain link is more chain link and razor wire–mailboxes–as if people were living there as they always had.

Also according to Wikipedia, when asked by a reader where Riverdale is located, the editor replied, “Riverdale is more of a state of mind than an actual physical location. It could be anywhere that kind people live and just have fun, like Archie and his friends. It could be in the Midwest, or along the Eastern Seaboard, or even a town in Canada, Mexico or England.

Now I’m left wondering, how many more Riverdales will there be?

Riverdale, In The Way

It’s not about cutting the losses. It’s about our home being taken away. It was our hands that built this place. It was all of our time and effort.

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2 Responses to “The Other Riverdale”

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